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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Voice Apps in Voice Commerce: How Anthropomorphic Design Can Influence Users’ Perceptions and Behavioral Intentions

Published: May 25, 2021


Fabian Reinkemeier, University of Goettingen; Waldemar Toporowski, University of Goettingen; Klaus Gutknecht, Hochschule München


The use of voice assistants is spreading rapidly, enabling companies to develop voice apps and establish a natural form of spoken dialogue in e-commerce. However, such voice commerce remains limited, as the apps struggle to provide satisfying interactions and build sufficient trust. To address these issues, we investigate the use of anthropomorphic designs in voice commerce and present a laboratory experiment (N = 323) demonstrating the significance of humanness and social presence in interactions. Our findings highlight the importance of companies endowing voice apps with social cues, as doing so leads customers to more satisfying interactions and higher levels of trust in the benevolence of voice apps. However, our results also reveal that such a design has no effect on trust in a voice app’s competence and even negative effects on trust in its integrity. Nevertheless, an anthropomorphic design increases the behavioral intentions to use and recommend the voice app.